Most of the focus in our industry is put on drilling new wells, but properly decommissioning existing wells is crucial to the safety of residents and the preservation of groundwater resources. In New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulates the decommissioning, or abandonment, of wells. This includes wells such as residential supply, hand dug, well points, and monitoring wells.
Here are some important things to consider when decommissioning your well:
- Records – A NJDEP-approved well record must be obtained prior to decommissioning. If you do not have a copy you, or your driller, can request one from the state.
- Non-recorded wells – There are some instances where the state does a well record. This may be because the well is very old or the driller did not file the paperwork. In these instances, the driller must collect measurements on the total depth, casing depth, and well diameter and submit to the state with a request for authorization. The state then provides authorization to the driller to close the well.
- License – All work must be performed under direct on-site supervision of licensed well driller (of proper class). This applies to hand dug and well point systems.
- Process – Typically the driller mobilizes to the well location, removes any pumping equipment, ensures it is otherwise clear of any obstructions, and fills with a cement grout mixture.
- Reporting – After work is completed the licensed driller will submit a Decommissioning Reports to the NJDEP for approval.
Here are a few examples of well abandonment projects we have recently completed.
- Monitoring Wells – 24 MWs were abandoned prior to planned remedial excavation utilizing union labor.
- Industrial – Two large production wells with 300+ gpm capacity were abandoned. Pumps were removed from each prior to filling.
- Hand dug – A licensed driller was provided to guide and oversee the decommissioning of a hand dug well after HRS drilled a replacement well at the property.
- Residential – Authorization was requested and obtained to decommission a non-recorded well after we drilled a replacement. The well characteristics were measured and submitted to the state along with a proposal for abandonment. Once authorization was obtained the work proceeded with pump removal and pressure tremie grouting.
As you can see we abandon wells of all classes and sizes. If you need more information on well decommissioning please do not hesitate to contact us.
HRS Drilling is a leading drilling contractor providing environmental investigation, water well drilling, dewatering and geothermal services to the Greater New York and New Jersey area. For more information contact us or call us at 973-347-2250.